Moving Melodies: The Difference

This hidden Track at the end of The Difference on Matchbox Twenty’s album More Than You Think You Are, pretty much sums up how I’m feeling right now…

I found out on a late night drive
In my winter coat with my blood-shot eyes
oh my faith ain’t been no friend to me
and the way I sin is hanging off of me

and I’m sorry you can`t take me anywhere
pretty soon we`re almost there
baby one more night
it`s been a long, long drive
and I’m way, way tired
I don`t need no back-up plan

I said I don`t want no body
no body don`t want me
hell I’m so sad so lonely
and I’m always landin’ on my feet

one more time with a sad, sad smile
and your white bread friends in the circus life
all the one way rides and the sweet beginners
passing on the left-hand side with a sideways smile

and I’m always one step from startin’
bad trips can make great stories
baby dance all night with your ass on fire
and your hands up high
and feel me one more time

I said I don`t want no body
no body don`t want me
well I’m so sad so lonely
and I’m always landin’ on my feet

well I learned to love myself and I don`t need no one else
when love moves on cause it gets cold
then love moves in and it can fill the hole
well I’m one more hopeful lyin’
on the bedroom floor no sense tryin’
when the whole thing drops you lose your nerve
I hope you get what you deserve

I said I don`t want no body
no body don`t want me
and I’m so sad so lonely
and I’m always landin’ on my feet

I don`t want no body
no body don`t want me
and I’m so sad so lonely
and I’m always landin’ on my feet

Another Quiet Week-End

Not too much to report this week-end.  After work on Friday, I stopped by Karin’s house to drop something off for her and ended up staying for three hours, hanging out, having dinner and, of all things, talking religion… go figure.

I slept late on Saturday and then took my recyclables to the recycling center.  I buy way too much Diet Pepsi, so I pay way too much in California Redemption Value (bottle deposits), not to take them in and get my money back.  Every few months I load up my car with trash bags full of aluminum cans and plastic bottles and take them in.  Yesterday, I got just a few cents shy of $45.00 so I’d say this is a worthwhile exercise.

After I dropped those off, I went to Popeye’s Chicken and Biscuits to get some… well, chicken and biscuits.  I was feeling the need for a little comfort food.  It helped a bit.  I spent the rest of the afternoon just relaxing and hanging out.  Watched all the regular television on my DVR.  Watched a Netflix DVD, original Doctor Who, the episode where Peter Davison relinquished the role to Colin Baker (not that anybody knows or cares about that), and then I watched Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog.  It was pretty good and funny, right up to the end, and then it got a bit weird.  Oh well.  I even got some recreational reading done.  And in spite of all that resting I still managed to stay up way too late last night.

I slept in this morning, but woke up to a very nice voice mail message from Gene who, sadly, returned to San Diego today.  I got up and watched last night’s episode of Saturday Night Live, hosted by Maya Rudolph (very funny) while I ate my lunch and then it was time to get ready and head out.  Today was Lil’B day and we went to the movies.

I occasionally ask him if there’s anything in particular he’d like to do and he almost always says, “I don’t know”, which comes as a surprise to exactly zero people, I’m sure.  But last Monday night, when I was taking him home after dinner, I asked him if he had anything in particular in mind that he’d like to do this week-end and after a moment’s contemplation he told me he wanted to go see Journey 2, The Mysterious Island.  This is not a movie I would have opted to go to on my own, but Lil’B rarely expresses a specific desire of any kind so when he does, I like to try to make sure it happens.

I posted this on my Facebook page:

About to watch Journey 2 with my Little Brother…  I may have to watch this movie through my fingers!!!

I thought this movie was going to be filled with over-sized creepy crawly things and that my skin would be crawling by the time it was over.  There were a couple of instances with enormous centipedes, some massive spiders and a couple bee’s large enough to ride (I’m allergic to bee stings so they always oog me out!) and of course a lizard as big as a house, but all-in-all the movie wasn’t terrible.  It actually had a pretty good story that should have been pretty entertaining but it was not as well executed as it could have been.  Too bad.

I spent the rest of the evening cleaning up my Twitter account.  Deleting people who have either been inactive for a long time, or who do not follow me back and therefore aren’t interactive.  Or at least I did until Twitter started having technical difficulties and now here we are!

It’s a long week-end and mercifully I do not have any big plans tomorrow.  Officially, it’s not a holiday for me, but my company is kind of weird.  We have multiple entities that all co-exist, but the employees are on different payrolls.  Since my office building is owned and operated by the Northern California Region which considers Presidents Day to be a holiday, the building is closed, but since I am not a Northern California Region employee and Presidents Day is not a holiday on my payroll, I am required to take the day off and use one of my four float days for it.  I don’t really mind though.  I used to be a Northern California Region employee and I had the holiday but no float days.  Now I have four float days but lost this one holiday.  So I choose to look at it, instead, as though I have three float holidays and continue to have Presidents Day off as a paid holiday.

I texted Michelle earlier today to see if she wanted to go see This Means War tomorrow but as it turns out, it’s not a holiday for her.  So I guess I should just be grateful.  And I am!

Oh Hey Look. I’m Officially A Blogger

It seems I’ve officially achieved a rite of passage that all bloggers must eventually achieve.  I have a troll.  At first I was kind of mad, because he’s really a dick and going out of his way to be so, with direct attacks aimed at me, in an attempt to prove some kind of a point.  But now I just think it’s funny and he doesn’t even seem to realize he’s only doing me a favor.

Generally speaking, I don’t even read his comments.  I know enough from the information readily available at the outset A) that it is him, yet again, and 2) I’m not interested in anything he has to say.    I can get enough from the first few words of his comments to know that it’s yet another hateful, personal attack and I don’t need to read the whole thing.  None of you will ever know because his comments will never appear on this blog and I will not waste my energy reading and responding to anything he sends my way.  Meanwhile, I’m getting the additional hits on my blog and that’s what I want. I’ll reap the benefits.

Like I said, he’s doing me a favor.  So to you sir, I say, “By all means, continue to be a dick.  Keep reading my blog.  Leave your hateful, spite-filled comments.  You’re not hurting me and you’re just wasting your own time, because it’s no skin off my nose and my readers will never see it.

I hope you’re having fun!

Boring Report for Sunday

Today has been less productive than I had hoped, but it was a pretty good day, all the same. I had planned to go out and run some errands, do some housework and review the writing samples I have for this week. Instead, I never left the house and I watched entirely too much television. Can’t complain about that!

When I got up this morning, I fixed myself some breakfast and sat down in front of the television to eat and watch recorded shows from my DVR. After I ate, I played some Fish Wrangler, taking care of my daily tournaments and stuff, and I made the mistake of scrolling through my on-screen television guide to see what was on. When I got my new DirecTV service, they gave me three months of all the premium channels free. Of course I have to remember to cancel them later or they’ll charge me. I will definitely cancel them because I “never” watch premium channels, or even have a need/desire to watch them. Why would I need premium channels when I have this?

20120212-220715.jpg

But it just so happens that HBO Family was running all six of the Star Trek (original series) movies and I got sucked into them for a little while. I watched the second half of the first movie and then turned off the TV, but I realized I wasn’t really finished with the computer so I turned the TV back on and watched the second half of The Wrath of Khan and The Search for Spock. I set the DVR to record The Voyage Home because I really did have things to do.

I did put my laundry away, take a shower, and heat and eat left overs from last night’s dinner at Red Lobster. I watched The Voyage Home while I ate dinner and ironed some clothes. Now I need to read my samples, but it’s almost 10 o’clock and I need to turn on the Grammys so I will be up to date with the rest of the world tomorrow morning and before anybody can spoil the results (not that they’re that important).

Since I am one of the three people whose work is being critiqued this week, I only have two submissions to go through, so I’ll do one tomorrow and one on Tuesday. It’ll work out fine.

So there’s your boring report for this Sunday. Hope you had a more adventurous week-end than I did.

 

 

Your Gay Friend Doesn’t Speak For Me

A few months ago, a friend of mine, whom I know not to be racist or homophobic or otherwise filled with hate posted a comment on Facebook to which I took offense:

The cars with the reindeer decorations are gay. I have seen 2 today

I replied by saying that I didn’t realize cars could be gay, to which she said this one was.  I said, “Dislike” since Facebook hasn’t been kind enough to provide an “I don’t approve of this” button – yet.

A friend of her’s, someone she knows face to face (I’ve only known her through on-line interactions) responded and said that there’s nothing wrong with saying “gay”.  I agree, and I said so before adding, “it’s not OK to use ‘gay’ as a derogatory statement.”  He provided a nasty, spiteful comment that doesn’t bear repeating and that really demonstrated to me that there’s still a long way to go, even in the realm of gay’s bashing each other.  And I opted to see my way out of that conversation.  The last thing I saw before “hiding” that “story” from my timeline was a statement from my friend who said that she meant no harm by it, that she would never want to hurt me and that there was no “cause for ‘ugliness'” as a result of her comment.  She said that her gay friends have “given me permission” to make gay jokes.

The other day, after a much too long absence from her blog, she talked about “Me and my bestest queer* are going to…”  The asterisk pointed to a footnote that read, “*He allows me to call him the queer so it’s fine.”  One has to question:  Why was it necessary to point out his permission, if “it’s fine.”  Clearly my friend is aware of the potential for offense at the comment.

First, let me say that I am not calling this friend out, personally.  This is a commentary on society, which uses these two relatively recent events as examples of the issue I’m discussiong.  I’ve made a point of not naming her and I’m pretty sure she’ll be the only one who knows who I’m talking about, so let me also say that she is the only one who could out herself if she chooses to comment on this post in a way that will make it clear that she’s the one I mean…

Second, let me say that I know my friend is not a homophobe and that she does not personally harbor any ill will or negative feelings about me, or the gay community as a whole.  On the contrary, she loves us.

Third, let me say that I don’t, personally, take particular offense at the use of the word “queer”.  Webster’s dictionary defines the word queer as:  Different from the normal or expected : strange.  So, maybe I should take offense at the word, but I don’t.  Just like I don’t take offense at the word gay.  Personally, I am gay, and that’s not a bad thing.  I am not queer, because there’s nothing different or strange about me.  However, when those words are used to describe anything or anyone with a derogatory connotation involved, then those words are offensive to me.  And they ought to be offensive to you, too!

So here’s the thing.  In discussing this friend of mine and her “bestest queer” (whom she revealed to me, in a separate communication, that she refers to as “the queer”) she can call him whatever she wants in private conversation between the two of them.  If he has no problem with her referring to him as “the queer”, than more power to them.  If he doesn’t feel that saying something which she clearly doesn’t like “is gay” is a derogatory use of the word, and she wants to say it to him; more power to them.  But just because the two of them don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, doesn’t mean the whole world agrees with them.  It doesn’t even mean most of the world agrees with them.  And I’ve got news for the two of them:  It doesn’t even mean that the majority of that particular community agrees with them.

So, okay.  The two of them are having a private conversation and she wants to tell her friend that cars with reindeer decorations on them are gay, and he thinks it’s funny, but they happen to be having this conversation in the middle of a restaurant and other people hear them.  That is not a private conversation and instead of making a funny joke, they’ve just utilized hate speech.  To the people in that restaurant, they’re not two people having a joke, they’re a couple of homophobes (or at the very least, very insensitive people), using a perfectly valid word that describes a perfectly valid portion of our society and comparing them to something that is unwanted and negative.  You can make the argument that “it’s a private conversation between the two of them” if you want, but it’s not.  It’s just not.  (Certainly Facebook isn’t.)    And just like that (*snaps fingers*) It’s not “okay, because my gay friend gave me his permission.”  Your gay friend doesn’t speak for me.

But let’s take this just a little bit further.  Let’s say my friend and her “bestest queer” agree that it’s not okay to use this language in public, but they are sitting around in the “bestest queer’s” living room using gay slurs (in a “humorous way”) and making jokes in which the term gay is used in a derogatory manner and they both think it’s funny and they’re completely at ease with it.  How long is it going to be before one of them slips in public and makes one of those jokes where other people can hear (or read) them?  When you allow yourself to think of something as being okay in private, before long you start thinking it’s okay in public, too.  Before long you lose your perspective and you stop censoring yourself when it’s appropriate to do so.

Even worse!  Suppose my friend and her “bestest queer” think I’m crazy and there’s just no way they would slip up in public and so it’s okay to make there jokes in private, just between the two of them.  This friend of mine has a young son; a toddler.  If she and her “bestest queer” sit around her house behaving this way, not only are they losing their own perspective of what’s appropriate, but they’re setting the example for her son that it’s the proper way to behave, or even worse teaching him that there really is something wrong with being gay, teaching him to judge, hate or otherwise criticize homosexuality, and if he happens to be gay, there’s a good chance that he could feel shame and fear of telling his parents because it’s been portrayed as something to be made fun of.

Outsiders do not get “inside jokes”.  The people around you can not read your mind.  The only thing people can go by, in understanding your beliefs and developing a sense of who you are, is your words.  It is necessary, therefore, that you use a sense of good judgement in determining how you use certain terms in modern society.

A person can make the argument until he is blue in the face that he doesn’t mean any harm with the use of certain words, but the bottom line is, when you use a term, like say, “gay”, in a context in which that term does not fit by definition, like say, “cars with reindeer decorations are gay”, one can only go by what they hear (or read).  Webster’s dictionary defines “gay” as:  1. Merry.  2. Bright and lively, especially in color.  3.  Inclined toward social pleasures.  4.  Homosexual.  — n. A homosexual.  I don’t think cars are capable of either emotion or sexual identity/behavior, therefore, I can only assume the statement is a derogatory statement which should not be made.

The bottom line is this:  No matter what is in your heart, when you make a statement that has a negative context and you use a term that describes a particular section of society (particularly one that is already persecuted) to convey that negative context, you are, in fact making a statement of hate.

And it should. not. be. done.